Ishilan n-Tenere is a compilation of recordings of guitar music from three regions of Senegal and Mali — Fouta Toro, Timbouctou, and the Adrar d’Ifoghas. Each region differs in language and culture, but all have a popular music based on the guitar, and their respective local guitar bands.
These bands are almost unknown outside of their homes but have a devoted local following. They play all events, celebratory or political. Their songs are folk anthems, hummed under the breath and chanted by children, traded by cassette and transferred by cellphone.
The guitar bands play a fashion of music that has become distinct and inseparable, a folk style that has replaced the traditional sounds, but has become tradition in its own time.
Stream the whole 13-track album for free or purchase for 2$ (yeah, 2$!) over at bandcamp